What You Need To Know About Matric Equivalent Certificates

A matric equivalent certificate is a certificate in a specialised stream of learning that is on the same NQF level as a matric certificate. 

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers offers two matric equivalent courses:

Watch the College Principal explain everything you need to know about Matric Equivalent certificates.

What is a matric equivalent certificate
What is a matric equivalent certificate

Our Matric Equivalent Courses

ICB Small Business Management National Certificate

Are you a go-getter who thrives in leadership roles? This is the course for you!

ICB Junior Bookkeeping National Certificate

Are you good at working with numbers? Is bookkeeping or accounting a likely career path in your future? Have a look at our ICB junior bookkeeping course.

What is a Matric Equivalent Certificate

A matric equivalent certificate is a certificate in a specialised stream of learning that is on the same NQF level as a matric certificate. 

Any accredited course that is considered an NQF level 4, is on the same NQF level as a matric certificate. 

Matric equivalent certificates are a better choice for students who cannot go to university. With a matric equivalent certificate, they will learn a specialised set of skills and can start working.

Our Matric Courses

Adult Matric - Amended Senior Certificate

It is never too late to finish your matric year. You can complete your Adult Matric certificate no matter how many years you have been out of school.

Matric Upgrade - Amended Senior Certificate

If you are not happy with your matric results, you can upgrade them. Upgrading our marks can assist with better career opportunities.

Matric Rewrite - Amended Senior Certificate

Your matric results don't define you. Take control of your future and consider a Matric Rewrite. There are many other opportunities at your disposal.

NQF Levels

Matric certificates are an NQF level 4. That means that any other certificate in the NQF that is also a level 4, is considered to be a matric equivalent certificate.

NQF Levels Explained

What Does Matric or Equivalent Mean?

Courses or employment adverts might use the phrase matric certificate or equivalent.

This means that to apply, you should either have a traditional matric certificate or a matric equivalent certificate.

Is ABET Equivalent to Matric?

No, ABET or Adult Basic Education and Training is an NQF level 1. Adult Basic Education and  Training is a course you can take if you want to finish your basic education. 

An NQF 1 level course is equivalent to a grade 9 certificate. 

What Courses Are Equivalent To a Matric Certificate?

Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers offers courses in business and financial management. Each of their courses is internationally recognised and regarded as scarce skills in South Africa. 

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers offers 2 courses that double as matric equivalent certificates, namely:

Further Education and Training Certificate: Bookkeeping

Further Education and Training Certificate: Bookkeeping is an NQF level 4 qualification worth 130 credits. Not only is this course a qualification in bookkeeping, but it also doubles as a matric equivalent certificate. 

You cannot start this certificate with no prior learning. The requirements are as follows. To apply for this matric equivalent certificate you need:

ICB Junior Bookkeeping Certificate (A grade 10 certificate is required to apply).

National Certificate: Small Business Financial Management

National Certificate: Small Business Financial Management is an NQF level 4 course worth 120 credits. This certificate also doubles as a matric equivalent certificate but is also a qualification in business financial management. 

To apply for this qualification, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Grade 11 certificate
  • If you do not have the above, you can apply with an NQF Level 3 certificate.

Why You Should Choose a Matric Equivalent Certificate

If you have not yet finished your matric year, there are a few reasons why you would benefit from choosing a matric equivalent certificate. These include:

  • Being able to further your education. 
  • Your overall employability.
  • It is a successful opportunity for all students.

Furthering Your Education


With a matric equivalent certificate, you will have a specialised set of skills. That means that by the time you would have finished a general matric certificate, you would already be able to move into a specialised field. 

With a matric equivalent certificate, for example in accounting, you can start building your career after you have qualified. You are more likely to get employed with this special set of skills than with a traditional matric certificate.

Opportunity For All Students

Matric equivalent courses give students who are not academically strong the chance to advance their careers. Some students struggle with traditional learning and are unable to finish their schooling. 

With a matric equivalent certificate, these students get a chance to further their education, specialise and build a successful career.

What NQF Levels Mean

The National Qualification Framework is made out of various levels that determine the strength of academic courses. This is a formal way for all courses in South Africa to be measured against the same standards. 

There are 10 NQF levels, namely:

  • NQF 1: Grade 9
  • NQF 2: Grade 10
  • NQF 3: Grade 11
  • NQF 4: Grade 12 (or equivalent)
  • NQF 5: Higher Certificate
  • NQF 6: Diploma
  • NQF 7: Degree
  • NQF 8: Honours Degree
  • NQF 9: Masters Degree 
  • NQF 10: Doctorate Degree

Is NQF 4 The Same As Matric?

Yes. Since a matric certificate is a level 4 qualification, any other qualification on the NQF 4 level is equivalent to a matric certificate. 

Can I Apply To University With a Level 4?

No. To apply to a university, you are required to have a traditional matric certificate. 

You must also have passed with a Bachelor’s Degree Pass and have the correct APS score to apply for the course of your choice. 

What are Matric Exemption Certificates?

Matric exemption certificates are given to foreign students who received a foreign school-leaving certificate and now wish to study with their first degree in South Africa. 

Getting a Matric Certificate

There is no back-route when it comes to getting your matric certificate. If you want a matric certificate you can either finish it through high school or:

  • The Second Chance Matric Programme 
  • Complete an Adult Matric Course 
  • Do a Matric Upgrade Course 

Second Chance Matric

The Department of Basic Education has a Second Chance Matric programme that gives individuals who failed their matric exams, a chance to rewrite. 

If you failed your matric exams and still want to get your matric certificate, you can apply for this programme.

Adult Matric

For individuals who were unable to complete or reach their matric year, you still have a chance to get your matric certificate. 

All you need to apply for the Adult Matric course is a grade 9 certificate. 

Matric Upgrade

A Matic Upgrade course is a great choice if you are looking to improve your matric marks. With a Matric Upgrade, you can choose to improve specific subjects and improve your matric pass level

The CEO of Matric College, Jan Badenhorst, explains about matric equivalent certificates

All our Matric Or Matric Equivalent Courses

Author: Andrea Frisby 

Last Updated: Elzanne Van Niekerk, 28 July 2021

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